Don Imus

Biography by David Jeffries

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Radio host and comedian, forefather of shock jockery, a controversial figure since the 1960s.
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Artist Biography by David Jeffries

1200 Hamburgers to Go Don Imus is a different kind of morning radio shock jock, one who mingled with Washington insiders and politicians till a comment he made on air brought his long-running show to a close. Born and raised in California, Imus began his radio career on the West Coast in 1968, bouncing around various stations before moving to Cleveland and WGAR and then New York City and WNBC in 1971. While at WNBC he released two albums on RCA -- 1200 Hamburgers to Go and One Sacred Chicken to Go -- along with one for the Bang label -- This Honky's Nuts. In 1977 he was fired from WNBC thanks in part to his abuse of alcohol and cocaine. Two years back in Cleveland -- this time at WHK -- passed before he was hired back by WNBC. It was there that he met fellow employee Howard Stern and they began their famous rivalry. Over the years Imus would write novels, syndicate his radio show, found the charitable Imus Ranch for children with cancer, move from WNBC to WFAN, and began simulcasting his show on the MSNBC cable television network. In 2007 he made headlines when he referred the Rutgers University women's basketball team with a comment deemed racist. Imus apologized for the "idiot comment meant to be amusing" and eventually met with the Rutgers team but he was still fired, first losing his MSNBC simulcast, then his radio show.